What are you reading at the moment?

ngatimozart

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I thought we'd have a bit of fun and see who's reading what, so I'll start.

In no particular order.
A compendium of Training Manuals - colloquial NZDF definition for Commando war comics & similar. All other comics are known as Mickey Ducks.

Red Star Over the Pacific by Toshi Yoshihara & James R Holmes:
Combining a close knowledge of Asia and an ability to tap Chinese-language sources with naval combat experience and expertise in sea-power theory, the authors assess how the rise of Chinese sea power will affect U.S. maritime strategy in Asia. They argue that China is laying the groundwork for a sustained challenge to American primacy in maritime Asia, and to defend this hypothesis they look back to Alfred Thayer Mahan's sea-power theories, now popular with the Chinese. The book considers how strategic thought about the sea shapes Beijing s deliberations and compares China s geostrategic predicament to that of the Kaiser's Germany a century ago. It examines the Chinese navy s operational concepts, tactics, and capabilities and appraises China s ballistic-missile submarine fleet. The authors conclude that unless Washington adapts, China will present a challenge to America s strategic position.
Amphibious Warfare: Strategy and tactics from Gallipoli to Iraq by Ian Speller & Christopher Tuck:
Landing on a hostile beach is one of the most ancient forms and still most difficult forms of warfare. It requires unparalleled levels of planning, organisation, coordination and cooperation between the services. After the disasters of Gallipoli and Zeebrugge in the World War I, amphibious operations reached their maturity in World War II, and were essential in the defeat of Japan, while the D-Day landings signaled the beginning of the end for Hitler. Since 1945, a myriad of expeditionary naval forces have set off for a wide range of destinations, including Korea, Vietnam, the Falkland Islands, Grenada, the Balkans and Iraq in 2003. In the post-Cold War era, amphibious warfare has reached new heights of importance in its ability to intervene rapidly in crisis situations.

Rather than following a narrative history, Amphibious Warfare takes the unique approach of building up the different stages of an amphibious campaign chapter by chapter, illustrating each with case studies. From planning and preparation to reaching landing zones, from beachhead consolidation to securing a target, Amphibious Warfare offers the complete picture of the people, strategy and tactics, ships and landing craft, tanks and aircraft, as well as the assaults involved.
And I've just finished Ghost Fleet - A Novel of the Next World War by P. W. Singer & August Cole. This novel is set in the near future with a Chinese - Russian alliance going to war against the US in the Pacific. It is a non nuclear war and unusually for a novel the authors cite their sources.
The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. Veteran special forces become low-tech insurgents, teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds while Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for all out cyber-war. Ultimately, victory will depend on combining the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.

Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel - no matter how sci-fi it may seem - is real, or could be soon.
I did find it a good read and thought provoking. The scenarios within the plot are quite feasible and these authors are more knowledgeable about the topic and capabilities than Clancy was. I would recommend it.
 
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Feanor

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Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, Emile Zola the Rougon-Maquart series, Parshev "Why Russia is not America", Boy 30529 by Felix Weinberg, The Absentee by Edgeworth, and The Syrian Limit by a collection of authors from CAST. Recently finished the Oxford edition of Diogenes the Cynic.
 

bdique

Member
The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia - Bill Hayton

Only into my third chapter, but a fascinating read about the history of the claims made by the various SCS claimants. Of interest is fact that China's claim is pretty recent (within the past 100 years), and was made as a response to real and perceived threats from Western nations as a way to legitimise their government and address the perception of governmental weakness by the population. All these was well documented by the author as he trawled through newspaper articles of that time, thus supporting his assertions with some form of evidence. At one point, the Chinese Nationalist leadership had even confused the Spratlys for the Paracels, hence further reinforcing the fact that the SCS islands barely featured in ancient Chinese discourse.

Also, ancient China never quite embraced the idea of fixed borders - i.e. the concept of 'lines drawn on a map to indicate borders' was a Western concept adopted by the Chinese, hence weakening the legitimacy of the 9-dashed line. I'm now at the bit where the author describes the situation in the 1990s, where the Philippines now comes into the picture in the Spratlys - this coming after the clash between North and South Vietnam for the Paracels for perceived military purpose, which eventually led to the Chinese clashing with the Vietnamese years later.

Ngati - do transcripts count? I'm also reading the transcript of the Singaporean Prime Minister's dialogue at the Special Session of the Nikkei International Conference on the Future of Asia (link here), I think it is quite insightful regarding geopolitical matters, although not necessarily military in nature.
 

ngatimozart

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Ngati - do transcripts count? I'm also reading the transcript of the Singaporean Prime Minister's dialogue at the Special Session of the Nikkei International Conference on the Future of Asia (link here), I think it is quite insightful regarding geopolitical matters, although not necessarily military in nature.
Yep, fair enough. I had a quick look at the link and it looks quite interesting.
 

Blackshoe

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The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson. It's a novel, which is rare for me since I normally stick to non-fic. Won a Pulitzer prize a few years back. It's okay. It's come together a lot in the last couple chapters, but I can't say I'd read it again.
 

vldbzh

New Member
War with Russia - Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff
NATO is not ready for anything, politicians are even less ready. It is like 1938. Despite the Russian side looks a bit simplified, the NATO side should be realistic because the author was an insider. I surprised that he 5th clause is not coming in force automatically (it has to be accepted by all members of NATO).
 
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ASSAIL

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Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dan Jr. This wonderful classic was picked up at a second hand bookshop for the grand sum of $1
 

bdique

Member
The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics - Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, Alastair Smith

Finished the book about two months back. While not necessarily military in nature, it does offer a compelling explanation to some seemingly counterintuitive observations i.e. if the people are so badly oppressed under a dictatorship, why don't they just take up arms and liberate themselves? Why do the children of autocratic leaders not further their studies in the higher-learning institutes of their own home country? Can democracy lead to a city or a nation to becoming better prepared for natural disasters? Why are autocrats so fond of foreign aid?

The answers provided to many of these questions are presented in a clear, crisp style that does not attempt to sugar-coat reality. The book is well structured such that the casual reader with no deep understanding of political science should be able to follow, and hence understand what I think are eye-opening concepts that serve to explain the seemingly ridiculous behaviour often encountered in the political/geopolitical sphere.

To me, this is highly recommended reading that would shatter more than a few rose-tinted glasses out there :cool:
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
''Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici, Heeresgruppe Weichsel and Germany’s Final Defense in the East'' - A. Stephan Hamilton

Based on reports done by Gotthard Heinrici for the U.S army; phone logs and situational reports the books; the books does a very good job explaining the various issues confronting German commanders in the field and how they had to be seen doing what Hitler and the German Command wanted them to do but were actually doing the opposite. As Commander of Army Group Vistula [Heeresgruppe Weichsel] Henrici was expected to hold the Soviets back as long as possible before falling back to Berlin. He gave the impression he was doing exactly what Hitler wanted but his real intention was to avoid falling back to Berlin to avoid civilian casualties that would have resulted in a protracted battle for the city. The author also mentions that for the Soviets; seizing Berlin was vital but was not necessarily seen as something that would end the war. Not an easy read but nonetheless a very interesting book.
 

chrislee

New Member
"Koran Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan 2002-2007" - Antonio Giustozzi

This book is still topical today, because nothing has changed Afghanistan since those times. "Al-Kaida" war for hearts and minds has become more sophisticated but international coalition makes the same mistakes.
 

ngatimozart

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I am working my way through The Rise And Fall Of The Great Powers by Paul Kennedy. Interesting read so far. Also part way through Modern Strategy by Colin Gray.
 

alsmith

New Member
I'm reading a fascinating military thriller right now, Kingsfire by Curtis H. Stratton. Really great read.
 

vldbzh

New Member
I am reading "From Third World to First" by Lee Kuan Yew. A desktop book for politicians who really want to do something good for their countries.
 
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